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FLEXO Magazine : July 2010
future requests from our customers. However, we have done many things with respect to improving our processes to make them more efficient and greener, we have worked with our customers to educate them on sustainability and what could be done with their current structures or packaging formats, and we continue to utilize and evaluate greener raw materi- als. And we will continue to do these things as we believe it is the responsible thing to do. Robbie Responses by Lori Ashford Plant Our largest area of focus was around our utility consump- tion. SGP requires an energy audit. To reduce consumption we first had to understand what uses that energy and then identify projects. The audit was extremely informative. One shocker: 23 percent of our energy costs was compressed air. Our first three major projects are to: Replace the lighting in our primary warehouse from dual- level metal halide (458 watts) to bi-level switched T8 fluores- cent bulbs (168 watts). These will provide better light (lumens) in the warehouse. In addition, the lighting systems would be stepped—being able to completely shut the lights down when the aisles are unoccupied via automatic controls. Bi-level switching also allows the lighting upgrade to be a tax deduc- tion under EPACT. Payback is in 18 months. Replace the lighting in our secondary building from four bulbs of T12 (117 watts) to two bulbs of T8 per fixture (30 watts), again with bi-level switching. We also removed 56 incandescent fixtures from service. Payback is a little longer at three years. This qualifies for the EPACT tax rebate as well. After the energy audit, we had a specific compressed air audit performed by Cullum & Brown. We have two com- pressed air loops—one needs a constant higher volume supply but the other is variable. By cycling these compressors on/off via PLC controls tied to our compressed air system we will use less electricity. Project payback is 13 months. Process Our largest change in this is the implementation of a com- pany-wide reduce/recycle/reuse program. Two sustainability task force sub-committees were developed to work specifically on landfill reduction—one for the manufacturing plant and one for the office. Landfill team members sought out ideas from all Robbie team members on what wastes could be addressed or how to prevent an item from becoming a waste. Each team brainstormed ideas of items that could be part of a reduce, recycle or reuse program. The items were then looked at by their impact on the reduction or waste and prioritized. Each team developed a project plan with task items, responsibility, and timelines for implementation of their projects. Below is a listing of some of the activities related specifi- cally to the reduction of landfill waste: • Reuse as much incoming packaging materials as pos- sible, building the reuse items into the bill of materials and specification sheets. • Reuse cores internally between printing operations and finishing operations. Re-use core stations were placed in the converting department in metal core racks, then are returned to Printing. We have standardized internal re-use cores to three width sizes and all at six inches internal diameter. • Office paper recycling program implemented April 2009. Includes recycling of all paper products (non-corrugated) in both the office and plant. Expected to save 50,000 pounds/year from the landfill. • Toner cartridge recycling program with our office product supplier, started April 2009. Expected to keep 100 car- tridges/year from the landfill. • Core recycling program implement May 2009. Cores are returned to the supplier for recycling. Expected to save 150,000 pounds/year from the landfill. • Zipper spool return program with our pri- mary zipper supplier implemented in May 2009, expected to save 25,000 pounds/year from the landfill. Also eliminated the box on the spool from one supplier for a reduction of 8,440 pounds/year. This project also had economic impacts and cost savings. • Started a zipper spool return program with our secondary zipper supplier in August 2009 as a result of Robbie engaging this supplier in sustain- able programs. This supplier has since released their spool return program to all their customers and is working with their spool supplier and has developed a collapsible spool to reduce freight return costs and cube. • Corrugated recycling with an in-house baler installed in October 2009. Expected landfill reduc- tion of 80,000 pounds/year. • Used photopolymer printing plates will be burned in a waste energy plant that supplies a local cement factory. There is no known means to recycle photopolymer plates, so we found another way to use this waste. MSDS sheets are supplied on any waste energy products and an assessment Robbie: Certified SGP Printer February 2010 52 FLeXo july 2010 www.flexography.org suStainable FLXO_July10_mech.indd 52 7/16/10 11:50 AM
Sustainable Summer 2010